In 2014, the "Proc Natl Acad Sci USA" published a research report by Chinese archaeologists, which proved that cats and humans lived together for at least 5,300 years through archaeological discoveries of cat skull fossils. However, for most of the early days, cats were free-range, and people didn't have to worry about excrement. Later, the relationship between cats and people became closer and closer. But when we raise them in the house, the problem of cats having nowhere to excrete followed. Therefore, cat owners continue to use their whimsy, and after a long period of exploration and experimentation, they have gradually developed the cat litter we use today. Do you know what the development history of cat litter is like?
Before cat litter was invented, most people kept cats free-range, and the cats excrete outdoors. But in the early 20th century, the United States rapidly urbanized, and a large number of people began to live in urban apartments, which created a demand for cat litter. In order to solve the problem of cat excretion, people use the sand dug in their own yards. If it rains or snows, they can only use furnace ashes instead. These items can only barely solve the problem, only have some basic uses of cat litter, and can not be called cat litter. These items cannot cover up the odor, and cleaning them is inconvenient. After the cat has used it, the claws are easily stained with dirt, making the house a mess. Even though many people like cats very much, they are reluctant to keep them for this reason.
Fuller cat litter
One day in January 1947, a woman named Kay Draper was worrying about how her cat go to the toilet. Because the weather is too cold, the ground is frozen, and no sand can be dug at all. Kay's neighbor, Ed Lowe, opened a factory that produced sand and sawdust, so she knocked on Ed's door and asked her neighbor for some sand to use for the cat's excretion. Ed is very pleased to recommend the factory's new product, a natural clay with very good adsorption - Fuller soil. Although it is the first time to use Fuller soil, the effect is surprisingly good. The Fuller soil not only absorbs cat urine very well but also reduces some odors.
Ed Lowe, who saw a new business opportunity, repackaged the Fuller soil and sold it for 65 cents a 5-pound bag under the trendy name "Kitty Litter." At this point, the first real cat litter was born, and people now regard Ed Lowe as the founder of cat litter. Fuller soil has been used for a long time as the original cat litter.
Although Fuller cat litter largely solves the problem of cats going to the toilet, it also has many disadvantages. The molecular structure of Fuller soil is loose and porous, and the adsorption capacity is strong, so it can absorb cat urine and the odor of excrement. However, it will not be clumping, so it can not wrap up the cat's excrement. And it can only be replaced as a whole after a certain number of uses, which will lead to excessive waste of its products.
In the early 1980s, this situation changed again, when biologist Thomas Elson discovered a new type of clay - bentonite, which could better absorb water and clump. We only need to shovel the clumping blocks each time, without having to replace the cat litter as a whole. The appearance of bentonite cat litter makes cat litter not only functionally meet the needs of cat owners, but also greatly improves the experience of cat owners. Bentonite cat litter completely solves the problem of raising cats in the house in the process of urbanization, so many people have no worries when deciding to raise cats. It also revolutionized the place of cats in human households, until 1985, when cats outnumbered dogs for the first time as the most popular pet in American households.
Although bentonite cat litter is already a very mature product, doubts about it soon arose. There are concerns that bentonite cat litter will harm their cat's health if cats eat it, even if the cat just licks the litter dust scattered on its fur. Although according to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), bentonite cat litter is generally safe, animals experience only mild digestive tract reactions after ingestion. But this cat litter can still cause very serious problems if swallowed in large quantities. This is more likely to happen to dogs that are kept together with cats, or to kittens who are just learning to use cat litter. So you need to keep a good eye on your kitten until it learns to use the cat litter properly, and stop your dog from approaching cat litter in any way to any stage of use.
Since then, the pursuit of cleaner, safer, and more convenient has become the goal of cat litter production. People's worries and the pursuit of higher quality have led to the birth of more types of cat litter. This cat litter is produced without using clay, they use safer and more environmentally friendly natural materials. The most prominent and most popular of these cat litter is tofu cat litter. The main raw material of tofu cat litter is pea fiber. The raw materials are very environmentally friendly, and the products meet the requirements of edible grade. This ensures the safety of tofu cat litter, and even if the cat accidentally eats a small amount, it will not affect its health. Tofu cat litter has good deodorization and agglomeration properties. And tofu cat litter is a natural and degradable product, which is more environmentally friendly. At the same time, the water-soluble properties of tofu cat litter allow it can be flushed directly into the toilet, making it easy to clean up, saving cat owners the time to throw cat litter downstairs.